wildfire

Photo by Edward Olsen, courtesy of Special Collections Department of the University of Nevada, Reno Libraries

Every season, wildfires pose a threat to lives and property throughout our region. And those on the front lines of fighting those fires are often in the greatest danger of all. Historian Alicia Barber looks back at the history of fighting wildland fires in this segment of “Time & Place.”

Paul Boger

2017 was the hottest year on record for most of Northern Nevada. And while the warmer weather has created complications across the region, nowhere may be as impacted as Lake Tahoe. The delicate ecosystem of the continent’s largest alpine lake has been under assault for decades from invasive species, algae growth and decreasing clarity. But area leaders are now concerned that wildfires may pose an even greater threat to the lake.

Bree Zender


A University of Nevada, Reno study has been looking into a new way to restore land that's been burned by wildfire to prevent the land from being charred again. 

Woodchuck Fire Updates

Sep 18, 2017
Washoe County

9:30 p.m. Monday update:

Here's the latest information from a City of Reno press release sent at 8:57 p.m.:

The Reno Fire Department (RFD) responded today at 1:30 p.m. to a fire in west Reno on the west side of Plateau Road. Forward progress on the 62-acre Woodchuck Fire (#WoodchuckFire) was stopped at approximately 5:30 p.m. No residential structures were lost, and no damage to residential structures occurred. There were no injuries to people or to any animals.

Nevada Seismological Laboratory / University of Nevada, Reno

Humans account for an overwhelming majority of wildland fires, with federal agencies estimating that 80 to 90 percent are caused by people.

Target shooting is just one of several ways that people can spark flames. Reno Public Radio’s Noah Glick look at other actions worrying local officials, and finds out what happens to those caught starting fires.

Noah Glick

While heat and thunderstorms bring heightened potential for wildfires, the majority of wildfires are human-caused.

Target shooting in particular has been the cause of several blazes this year, including the Detweiler Fire that has destroyed more than 130 structures in Mariposa County, California.

Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District via Twitter

10 am Tuesday:

Farad Fire:

Location: 13 Miles Northeast of Truckee at the Nev/Cal border.

Size: 600 acres

Percent Contained: 10%

Personnel: 200

According to YubaNet News, firefighters worked through the night to construct control lines.

There are no evacuation orders in effect, but patrols will monitor the seven identified threatened structures in the Gold Ranch and Verdi Peak area.

Wildfire Season Begins: Fire Updates

Jun 18, 2017
Inciweb

Wednesday 12:00 p.m. update:

Another fire has broken out, this time 5 miles northwest of Jiggs, Nev. in Elko County. More than 100 firefighters are on scene of the Red Springs Fire, which has now burned 4,060 acres. The blaze is 15 percent contained, and no structures are threatened at this time.

Nevada National Guard / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

The Little Valley Fire destroyed 23 homes in October, leaving affected residents to consider whether to rebuild or relocate.

Reno Public Radio’s Noah Glick reports.

Driver’s licenses, birth certificates and prescription medications are just some of the tangible items people lost while escaping October’s Little Valley Fire, along with a sense of safety.

“We still get periodic phone calls about somebody that’s just experienced some post-traumatic stress, and so we have some clinicians that we will have deploy to the area just to talk with people and process it.”

Washoe County

October’s Little Valley Fire destroyed 23 homes and burned more than 2,200 twenty-two-hundred acres across Washoe Valley.

As Reno Public Radio’s Noah Glick reports, local officials are now working to rehabilitate the charred landscape.

University of Nevada, Reno Seismological Laboratory

More than 100 fires burned through the Tahoe basin and Truckee Meadows this year, including the recent Little Valley Fire.

But as Reno Public Radio’s Noah Glick reports, a network of cameras is helping to reduce the impact and damage caused by these blazes.

As the Hot Pot Fire near Battle Mountain and Winnemucca gained momentum over the summer, crews were able to get much needed air resources because of video evidence showing a rapid growth of the blaze.

InciWeb

Get the latest information on this fire on InciWeb, or by following the Inyo national Forest on Twitter, @InyoInfo.

Wednesday, 6:23 a.m. update:

The U.S. Forest Service has announced that the Owens River Fire is officially 5,443 acres, down from their latest estimates of 6,050. The fire is now 32 percent contained.

Twitter user @YubaNet

Friday, 9:58 a.m. update:

The Willard Fire outside Susanville is now 80 percent contained and emergency officials say fire activity remains minimal as crews work to improvement containment lines.

The fire started on Sunday and has burned nearly 2,600 acres, destroying two residences and five other structures. There has also been one minor injury. 

At this point, all evacuations and advisories have been lifted, but more than 1,600 personnel remain on site. 

Wednesday, 10:04 a.m. update:

Updates: "Shooting Fire" Near Carson City

Aug 14, 2016
Carson City Fire Department

5:30 PM Monday update:

The Shooting Fire in Carson City, which was sparked by target shooters on Sunday, is mostly contained. Fire crews are cleaning up the area.

Officials say that aggressive aerial assistance and structure protection from local, state and federal agencies helped contain the blaze and led to no loss of structures. All roads are open to the public, and officials say crews will continue to protect private property.

10:45 AM Monday update:

BLM Nevada

We'll continue to update this story as it develops. For updates on the fire, be sure to check the InciWeb website.  

11:14 am Friday update:

Pyramid Lake is now open for recreation. Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe Spokesman Scott Carey says that major firefighting operations have ceased at the lake, making the lake safe to re-open.

The lingering widespread haze caused by California wildfires combined with high temperatures this week can be a health risk for people with asthma. Reno Public Radio’s Anh Gray explains.

Dr. Sonia Budhecha is with Renown Medical Group. She says asthma is most common in children and is a condition when the bronchial tubes, or airways, get obstructed.

University of Nevada, Reno

The Hot Pot fire has burned nearly two hundred square miles of rural land near Battle Mountain. One tool area fire crews have been using is a new live-stream remote camera system.

Marcus Lavergne

Several agencies, including the Bureau of Land Management, have banned off-roading for vehicles in western Nevada because of high fire danger. Reno Public Radio's Michelle Billman reports.

The ban is a response to the ongoing drought and tinder-dry vegetation. Charles Moore is chief of the Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District. He says under the rule, vehicles are only allowed on existing paved, gravel, and dirt roads, not anywhere else.

The National Weather Service has issued an excessive heat warning to several western states including parts of California and southern Nevada. The higher temperatures also pose an extreme fire danger. Reno Public Radio’s Anh Gray explores what the risks are in Northern Nevada.

Climate researcher Dan McEvoy is with the Desert Research Institute.

Washoe County Sheriff's Office

While fighting the Hawken Fire in south Reno this week, a helicopter for the Regional Aviation Enforcement Unit, or RAVEN, was almost hit by a drone. Our News Director Michelle Billman spoke to the pilot to learn more about the scare. 

Doug Russell with the Washoe County Sheriff's Office, which runs the RAVEN unit, was flying at nearly 90 miles per hour when a drone came within 50 feet of his aircraft.

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